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Entries & Recent Form
We are pleased to bring you an update on Sir Frank who was a part of the Pond House team between 2011 and 2013, during which time he bravely landed an Exeter handicap hurdle as well as finishing in the frame on a number of occasions before injury curtailed his racing career.
Rewarding the patience of his owner, he has since made a marvelous recovery and is enjoying a happy and contented retirement where this lovable character is regularly ridden and doted upon in his new home in North Devon that he shares with three friends.
I was delighted to hear from Emily with news of Scotland Yard, a decent hurdler that I trained back towards the start of my career as trainer at Pond House. Indeed, Scotland Yard was my first winner of the 2007/8 season (my second season with a licence) when successful at Wincanton under Tom Scudamore (pictured below). Now a twelve year old, he has embarked up a second career in the eventing field which he enjoys enormously and I am sure you will agree, he is looking extremely well.
Updated 15th May 2015
We are always pleased to hear news of the horses that have been at Pond House through the years and we have just heard that Lord Atterbury is doing well in his new career. You may recall that Lord Atterbury was a top class hunter chaser for David before racing under rules for Martin and finishing five lengths third behind Amberleigh House in the 2004 Aintree Grand National.
Now at the age of 19 you will find him in an alternative career...as a horseboarder! I must admit that I do not know an awful lot about the sport, but it does look a lot of fun and I am delighted that Lord Atterbury has taken so well to this new discipline. Indeed, in his first full season in 2014 he finished runner-up in the Horseboarding UK National Championships and currently sits in second position in this year's standings.
The picture above was taken at the Thame Showground in April 2015 by Scott Carruthers and shows Lord Atterbury leading his team who go by the name of the "Mad Atterz". We wish them every success with the championship and are delighted to see the horse doing so well in an enjoyable and fulfilling career after his racing days are over.
Above: Lord Atterbury during his racing career (pic by Bill Selwyn)
Photograph by Anne Grossick 01387 750512
We have recently had a few queries about the popular chaser Northern Starlight and we are pleased to be able to bring you an update on him. Coming from humble beginnings he was a maiden on the flat and competing in selling hurdles for Paul Nicholls and Rodney Baker before joining the team at Pond House.
The diminutive Northern Starlight (pictured above, right) was a fantastic little horse who gave us many memorable moments when trained by my father, including the 1998 Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham and his incredible success in the 2000 John Hughes handicap chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree, ridden on both occasions by A P McCoy. He was the winner of sixteen races (nine over hurdles, seven over fences) and over £170,000 in prize money.
He retired from racing at the end of the 2003 season and went to his owners' in North Devon. Aged 24 he still resides there now, enjoying a life of luxury where he is turned out daily with two ponies that he adores.
Ashkazar ran at Cheltenham on his most recent start. He was the winner of the same race in 2012 but had not shown much sparkle in three runs this season and David Johnson decided to retire him. Timmy Murphy’s wife Verity has him and he is sure to enjoy a great retirement. He will live with former Pond House stars Comply or Die, Well Chief and Vodka Bleu and enjoy hacking around the Gloucestershire countryside as well as hunting and various other activities. He his only nine years old but he feels like a piece of the furniture having been at Pond House since he was a three year old! He has done us and owner David Johnson proud over the years, winning on the flat in France before winning two chases and seven hurdle races. This included the 2008 Imperial Cup and he then went on to finish second in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival three days later. He won the Kingwell hurdle at Wincanton the following season and then won some other top hurdle races along the way and amassed nearly £200,000 in prize money. He is a lovely laid back character, looked after by my partner Leanne since he came from France and he will be sadly missed but we know he will enjoy a fantastic retirement.
Action replay: Buena Vista follows-up with success in the 2011 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
What can you say about Comply Or Die? Placed in a Sun Alliance Hurdle and Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as a Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, Comply Or Die is best known for giving David his finest hour as a trainer when landing the 2008 Grand National. He went on to finish a gallant runner-up twelve months later and fittingly ran his last race in the 2011 Grand National. The winner of just under £800,000 in prize money, he is enjoying a happy retirement at Timmy Murphy's home along with his old companion, the great Well Chief. As you can see from the pictures he is having a great time!
Above left: Comply Or Die and Well Chief, and right: Comply Or Die is clearly enjoying his retirement
Our Vic leads Kauto Star en-route to victory in the Betfair Bowl at Aintree in 2008
Picture by kind permission of Bill Selwyn
We have taken the decision to retire Our Vic. He will be a teenager in January 2011and has done us proud, competing in the highest grade throughout his entire career. His joints have started to give him a little trouble and after all he has done for us, it is now time for us to look after him.
He won fourteen of his thirty-five career starts including a Cheltenham Festival success in the Ryanair Chase, a Paddy Power Gold Cup at their November meeting, as well as taking the notable scalp of double Gold Cup winner Kauto Star in the Betfair Bowl at Aintree.
In total, Our Vic won over £700,000 in prize money and he will be extremely difficult to replace.
He is thoroughly deserving of a long and happy retirement and as you can see from the picture below, he is now at the British Racing School where he is looked after and idolised by the students there.
In May 2010 we bade a fond farewell to our star chaser Well Chief. The ever popular chestnut, who won the Arkle Chase as well as finishing runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle and twice in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, was retired after his last run, fittingly in this year's renewal of the Champion Chase. He had a fine career winning two races on the flat in Germany before being bought by David Johnson. He won his debut hurdle race in this country at Taunton and went on to win a further two hurdle races which included the Elite hurdle at Wincanton and the Adonis hurdle at Kempton. He scaled even greater heights as a chaser as mentioned winning the Arkle on only his second ever start over the larger obstacles. Other notable successes included carrying top weight to victory in the Victor Chandler chase giving over a stone to his rivals, The Celebration Chase at Sandown, The Game Spirit at Newbury and his final success came in the Connaught Chase at Cheltenham in November 2009. This is not to mention his numerous placed races in top class events and all this despite his well documented injury problems, in which his legs have been described as “like glass”. This only heightens the respect and love for this talented horse who was guided to these levels expertly by both Martin and latterly David. He amassed more than £631,000.00 in prize money in a career which spanned eight years. He ran 32 times which included 12 wins under all codes and 12 places. He truly was a remarkable horse on the race track if not slightly quirky to ride at home! He was extremely kind natured and was loved by everyone at Pond House.
Chiefy is spending his retirement with Timmy Murphy, who enjoyed so many wonderful moments on our stable star. He is turned out with another old favourite from Pond House, Vodka Bleu and I am sure that they will both enjoy a long and happy retirement. Below are few pictures of Well Chief after winning his last race at Cheltenham and at his new home out at grass.
Sir Bathwick retired in 2010 at the age of eleven on a high, having won at Wincanton, before finishing a good second to Ollie Magern in a class 2 chase at Perth.
A winner over hurdles and fences and rated 130 at his peak, Sir Bathwick was owned by our stable sponsors Wayne & Sarah Clifford. He is now enjoying his retirement with Katie, who works in our yard.